Experiencing Eid al-Adha in the Holy Land

Eiqan Ahmad Shams, Kababir

The Holy Land is the land of three major religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The people here live together and celebrate their religious occasions. The occasion of Eid al-Adha is celebrated with basic Arabic traditions.

First of all, you will find decorations and lights in all the houses here, especially in Kababir. A few days before Eid, all the families, especially women, gather at their homes to make Eid cake (Kaakul Eid) which is a special cake that is only made around Eid and the kids share these cakes with their neighbours and friends and that creates a wonderful atmosphere before Eid.

Eid cake (Kaakul Eid)
Kaakul Eid (Eid cake)

Everyone who wants to make a sacrifice gives the aḍḥiyah (اضحية) or ‘animal sacrifice’.  One either brings it to his house a day before Eid or donates it to the Jama’at [Community].

On the morning of Eid, people hear the Eid Takbeer through loudspeakers:

الله أكبر الله أكبر، لا إله إلّا الله، و الله اكبر ،الله أكبر ولله الحمد

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no god but Allah. For Allah is all praise.’

Then they go inside the Eid hall. Everyone, old and young, men and women, attends the Eid prayer, dressed in new clothes and listen to Eid sermon. 

Eid prayers and sermon being offered in Kababir.

After the prayer, they embrace each other and present the Eid gifts, saying:

تقبل الله منا ومنكم وكل عام وأنتم بخير

May Allah accept this from us and from you and may you be well every year.

Then the Jama’at [Community] members who wish to offer the sacrifice offer the aḍḥiyah. Traditionally, sheep, goats or cows are slaughtered, often with a group of neighbours or members of an extended family buying one animal whose meat is then shared. The meat is also distributed to family, friends and the needy in the community.

After the Eid ceremony, people visit their relatives and friends in their homes. Children receive new clothes and small gifts; these visits will also continue for a few days after Eid. After the Eid prayer, we offer sweets, fruits, coffee and tea to visiting guests.

Every year in Kababir, the mayor of Haifa comes to visit the Jama’at at lunch together to wish us well on our religious occasion.

In Kababir, the atmosphere is amazing and so spiritual during the 4 days of Eid al-Adha.